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Hours of Service Regulations

Understanding Federal Trucking Laws

Because commercial trucks and tractor-trailers present numerous dangers on public roadways, the federal government heavily regulates the trucking industry, trucking companies, and truck drivers. Among the many federal trucking laws in place, some of the most important include Hours of Service (HOS) rules.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) any driver of a commercial motor vehicle – including passenger-carriers and freight-carriers – are required to comply with Hours of Service rules. These rules essentially govern the amount of time drivers are allowed to be on duty and behind the wheel, and establish mandatory breaks and rest periods. HOS rules are designed to limit the risks posed by tired truck drivers – one of the most common causes of preventable truck accidents.

HOS Rules for Commercial Property-Carrying Drivers

Commercial truck drivers transporting cargo must comply with the FMCSA Hours-of-Service rules, which include the following:

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit – Truck drivers may drive for up to 11 hours, but only after they have had 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • 14-Hour Limit – Truck drivers may be on duty for up to 14 consecutive hours, provided they have had at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Mandatory Breaks – Truck drivers are required to take mandatory rest breaks. They may drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since they were last off-duty or took a 30-minute break.
  • 60/70 Rule – Truck drivers have restrictions limiting how long they are allowed to drive in a week. For example, truck drivers are not allowed to drive after working 60 hours in 7 consecutive days, or after working 70 hours in 8 consecutive days.

These HOS regulations have been found to greatly reduce risks of accidents caused by tired truck drivers. When drivers and trucking companies fail to abide by these rules, they place others on public roadways in danger of being involved in traffic accidents.

Learn More About Your Trucking Accident

Our Washington, DC truck accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. are committed to fighting on behalf of victims and families harmed by negligent trucking companies and drivers, including those who fail to comply with Hours-of-Service regulations. If you have questions about your case, your rights, and how our firm can help, we invite you to request a free case evaluation.

To request a free consultation, call 202-644-8303 today.

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